Category Archives: Miscellaneous

Bootstrap Grows: 8 Tips for a Healthy Garden

By Emma Brown
Creative Marketing at Bootstrap Compost, Inc.

With the weather heating up and your seedlings firmly planted in your garden beds, we’re ready to share some tips on how to keep your garden healthy. If you haven’t started growing yet, don’t worry, we’ve got your back with “7 Tips to Sprout your Garden“.  We’ll continue to share more as the season continues, but for now, here are 8 tips to keep your garden happy and healthy. 

1.) Don’t overcrowd your herbs: cilantro, chives, dill, and parsley each need 1 square foot between plants; basil, thyme, and tarragon each need 2 square feet; rosemary, sage, mint, and oregano each need 3-4 square feet.

2.) Fruits and veggies also need plenty of space, but you can save space by growing vertically, either on a wall or in a container.

3.) Young plants need a lot of attention! Water them frequently, and don’t forget to trim any dead or yellowing leaves.

4.) You don’t need chemical pesticides to ward off predators. You can steep onion, garlic, and hot pepper in hot water for several days to make a natural spray.

kale bucket

Back at the Boot, we’re growing. More info and pricing on our self-contained bucket gardens coming soon.

5.) Similarly, a solution of water and powdered kelp will keep Japanese beetles and aphids at bay.

6.) One last spray: a spoonful of canola oil + a few drops of soap in water will kill mites and aphids. But don’t use it in hot, sunny, weather, as the soap will cause leaves to burn.

7.) Not all bugs are foes: ladybugs will eat harmful insects. You can attract them by planting herbs like dill, fennel, and cilantro, or flowers like dandelions and geraniums.

8.) Got rabbits? Plant marigolds or garlic around your plants, and eliminate tall weeds and other hiding spots to keep the bunnies out.

Bootstrap Grows: 7 Tips to Sprout your Garden

Now that you’ve received your share of black gold, we’re eager to share some tried-and-true gardening tips. As the growing season continues to germinate, the Boot will periodically share bits of advice on growing and managing your crops. So without further ado, here are 7 tips to get your home garden sprouting this spring!

1.) Growing from seeds? Before filling your containers that will house the seeds, moisten the planting mix. You can mix in a bit of our compost too!

2.) Seedlings need a lot of light. If you’re growing in a window, choose a south-facing exposure.

3.) If you’re growing under lights, adjust the lights so they’re just a few inches above the tops of the seedlings. Set the lights on a timer for 15 hours a day.

plants

Baby Buttercrunch Lettuce, born and raised at Bootstrap HQ

4.) If you’re ready to transplant your seedlings into your garden, use newspaper covered with straw between garden rows to eliminate weeds and retain moisture.

5.) Make sure to position your garden so plants are exposed to at least six hours of sunlight per day. Six hours of sunlight are necessary for vegetables to produce fruit.

6.) Lettuces & herbs, however, will be satisfied with only 3-4 hours of sunlight a day.

7.) And beware! If you’re growing peppers, soil should be at least 65 degrees. Peppers will not survive transplanting at lower temperatures. So either grow those jalapenos indoors or wait until the summer heat!

 

2015: The Year Bootstrap Learned to Tie Its Boots

By Igor Kharitonenkov, Co-Founder

It wasn’t long ago when Bootstrap Compost, serving just a couple hundred clients around town, was operating out of our backyards (Andy’s and my own), much to the chagrin of our neighbors. We did it all – collection, cleaning and delivery. At just 24 years young, I quickly learned the art of business negotiation; pizzas were exchanged and annoyances were quelled. When the going gets tough, buy them off with pie, I say.

2011 - Max cleaning buckets in the backyard.

2011 – Max cleaning buckets in the backyard.

Still, our little operation was bothering more than just our immediate abutters. With a garden hose running 100 feet from my third-story apartment down to the backyard cleaning station, the message was clear: “Sorry roommates, you’ll have to hydrate elsewhere.” And to think we cleaned outdoors. In the winter. In Boston. For that reason, we even managed to anger ourselves. To this day, I’m not quite sure how we pulled it all off were it not for Andy, Adam, Jake, Jonas, Everett, Max and those first few staffers who had the heart, humor, and courage to believe in our operation.

And they weren’t wrong to believe.

Much has changed since those early rug rat days and 2015 will always serve as the year we put on our big boy pants. For starters, Continue reading

The ABCs of BSC

Why Compost? Spell it out with B-O-O-T-S-T-R-A-P

photo 1

 

e the envy of your neighbors. With other fools tossing out their food scraps like it’s 1987, Bootstrap brings convenience, practicality, and oodles of cachet to the radical act of food diversion. Get with the future now.

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MG…It’s so easy. Seriously, composting with Bootstrap is essentially hassle-proof: Signup online, get a bucket, start collecting organics.

 

photo 3

 

ffset landfills. Landfills are fundamentally unsustainable, releasing pollutants into the ground, air and water. By removing organics from the conventional waste stream, we are challenging — and transforming — the very notion of trash.

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ake aim at GHG emissions. Carbon dioxide and methane gas (prevalent offshoots from landfills) contribute to global warming. Composting a pound of kale offsets the emission of .95 pounds of Co2. That’s a Continue reading

Green Plate Club seeks members

Bootstrap has again joined forces with our friends and neighbors Boston Organics to lick wastefulness. This easy-as-pie promo (ingeniously dubbed The Green Plate Club) serves to bind the ties between two locally owned businesses specializing in organic produce delivery and organics pickup, respectively. Together—with your help — we’re reshaping the loop of food production, consumption, and refuse.

Green Plate Club BSC Jan 2014
So what’s in it for me, you ask?
As a Bootstrap subscriber, you’ll receive $10 off your first Boston Organics delivery and a pair of Bootstrap pickups (a prize package worth up to $30!!). Clearly, if the notion of receiving fresh organic produce right to your door ever appealed to you, now is the time to enroll! To join the Green Plate Club, sign up with our pals at 
bostonorganics.com with the promo code “GPC14.” If you feel like spreading the joy online, our hashtag is #greenplateclub. The offer is good through Feb. 7, 2014.

For an inside look into Boston Organics and their philosophy, check out the video portrait below created (coincidentally enough!) by BSC co-founder Igor Kharitonenkov.

The Quick and Dirty: The Story of Greater Boston’s Food Scrap Go-Getters

The early days: Andy and the USS Bootstrap (via Boston Globe)

The early days: Andy and the USS Bootstrap in 2011

Jobless in the midst of a severely depressed economy, Andy Brooks launched Bootstrap Compost in January 2011 as a means to a paycheck. Equipped with a hand truck, a T-pass, flyers and a desire for meaningful work, Andy began collecting the food scraps of a few subscribers in his Jamaica Plain neighborhood, processing the organics in his backyard. When the DailyCandy, a popular cultural blog in Boston, caught wind of his composting business, the response was nothing short of bananas.

Keeping it green: Upcycled and homemade

Bootstrap Compost keeping it green with upcycled and hand made business cards

Flash forward five months: Igor Kharitonenkov, an up and coming multi-media producer (and coincidentally, an unemployed one), created a video short about Bootstrap. Igor was interested in profiling and promoting sustainable businesses through new media. Impressed with his work, Andy hired Igor to help with marketing and administrative tasks. At this point, the company was serving 101 subscribers and had forged a partnership with a local farm, eager to make use of the nitrogen-rich scraps.


Flash forward one year:
Bootstrap had grown to 250 subscribers, matching the gray hairs suddenly appearing on Andy’s head. To add to the workload, the company was selected as a finalist for
MassChallenge 2012, an internationally renowned 4-month long start-up incubator. Help was needed Continue reading

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